NHL Buzz: The First key Domino on the goaltending market falls

 

Latest NHL Buzz The first domino fell on the goaltending market Friday when the Carolina Hurricanes acquired Scott Darling this week from the Chicago Blackhawks for a 2017 third-round pick. Many teams are looking for the next Cam Talbot and three teams had Darling as their No. 1 target. Carolina, Las Vegas and the Dallas Stars. Darling has had Carolina Hurricanes written all over him for months as GM Ron Francis is not a believer in having $5 to $6 million a season tied into one goaltender after the Cam Ward contract hamstrung the Hurricanes for many years.. It’s anticipated a deal will come together between the Hurricanes and Darling in the $3-$3.5 million range. Many teams between now and the expansion draft are looking to get a leg up as the Blackhawks did and move goaltending assets before losing them for nothing. Multiple clubs are eyeing Washington’s Philipp GrubauerRead More »

Draft Buzz: Steelers have hit on needs, high upside talent and character

 

Steelers Draft Buzz The Pittsburgh Steelers in Round 1 stuck to their ‘need board’ with the selection of outside linebacker T.J. Watt, while Rounds 2 and 3 of the draft saw Pittsburgh go with a mix of taking the best player available as was the case with wide receiver JuJu Smith-Schuster and needs in adding cornerback Cameron Sutton and running back James Conner in Round 3. Drafting 30th overall is always unpredictable but the Steelers, notably head coach Mike Tomlin, were keen on adding a pass rusher whether they stood at 30th or moved back. Even with the likes of Takk McKinley off the board, Steelers coaches loved McKinley, it was no surprise the Steelers selected Watt. “He’s worthy of the pick,” Mike Tomlin said of Watt at No. 30. “Boy, we are excited about the potential upside and growth given the short length of time he’s played the position,”Read More »

Penguins – Capitals: How the Penguins Stole Game 1

 

Penguins Steal Game 1 “To steal a game in their rink and kind of effectively get home ice back in the series, I think that’s huge.” — Penguins center Nick Bonino The Pittsburgh Penguins escaped Game 1 with a 3-2 victory over the Washington Capitals despite all the numbers saying this should have been a blow out in Washington’s favor. The eye test also says this was a bad performance by the Penguins, outside of a few players. Washington out-attempted Pittsburgh 83-41, was +21 in scoring chances, +14 in shots (35-21) +6 in high danger chances (13-7) and carried the play for significant portions over the final two periods. Yet, the Penguins did what the Penguins do in putting one more puck in the back of the net than the opposition. Timely goals and goaltending propelled the Penguins to a 1-0 series lead. It’s a recipe the Penguins will haveRead More »

Series Buzz: Will cracks in the Penguins game finally be exposed in Round 2?

 

Series Buzz: Will cracks in the Penguins game finally haunt them in Round 2? As discussed the other day, the Washington Capitals on paper are more equipped to match up with the Penguins than they were last season and when you factor in the Penguins injury situation with players who were so valuable to Pittsburgh winning last postseason, there’s no excuses for the Capitals not to get the job done and finally breakthrough vs Pittsburgh. The fascinating thing to watch in this series will be whether those areas the Penguins high-end talent has been able to cover up over the last month or so finally comes to an end.  The Penguins possession numbers have been average for a long-stretch now but it hasn’t had much of an impact because of Pittsburgh’s ability to create high danger chances near an elite level. Pittsburgh was at 46% in driving possession vs theRead More »

Sabres GM Search: Bill Guerin on the rise as a top GM candidate

 

Bill Guerin emerges on Sabres short-list Since becoming owner of the Buffalo Sabres and Buffalo Bills, Terry Pegula is widely known to let his close friends influence hirings that have back fired. This time around Pegula is taking a different approach. He’s begun relying on other NHL owners and long-time establish NHL folks to do a proper landscape of the NHL GM scene. While there’s lots of talk Pegula will go the re-tread veteran GM route and Pegula himself admitted he’s looking for experience, Penguins assistant GM Bill Guerin has emerged on Pegula’s short-list and was one of the first interviews conducted by the Sabres. NHL sources say Pegula’s short-list of GM candidates is coming from a wide net of NHL executives he has reached out to. Guerin whose stock has been rising throughout the NHL as a top GM candidate due to a reputation developing of being a greatRead More »

Latest Pirates Buzz: Seats getting Hotter for Hurdle, Huntington?

 

Latest Pirates Buzz The Pittsburgh Pirates are a ball club at a cross-roads already in a young season that’s only 2 games in. The starting rotation has been a surprising strength as they boast the 2nd best quality start percentage in baseball, yet, they sit 4 games under .500 with an 8-12 record. The Pirates are missing two key cogs in Starling Marte and Jung Ho Kang because of stupidity from both that gives the Pirates a built in excuse already for not contending in 2017 but why is this team such a bad fundamentally sound ball club and whose shoulders does it eventually fall on? They can’t field and it’s a bad group running the bases. This is an atrocious fielding team and it’s not like it’s just one guy as the Pirates issues defensively have long been focused on Andrew McCutchen in center field. It’s almost at every position.Read More »

Series Buzz: Capitals Advantage only on paper?

 

Series Buzz: Capitals Advantage only on paper? For Penguins – Capitals, when you breakdown a lot of areas between the two clubs, the Capitals enter Round 2 as the favorite but as the series begins Thursday night in D.C., there is certainly a pause surrounding who is the favorite in the series. Washington has the goaltending edge, they have the better personnel on the blueline, a better power play and they draw more penalties. Pittsburgh has the edge at forward and also have that special championship mystique about them that makes them such a daunting task to beat four out of seven times. Not only are the Penguins defending champions, there is that history thing backing them where they have won eight of the nine all-time series between the clubs. All of the pressure is on the Capitals this series. Pittsburgh won that coveted second Stanley Cup of the Crosby eraRead More »

Penguins – Blue Jackets Series Fallout

 

Penguins – Blue Jackets Series Fallout “We just played one of the top teams in the league. I believe our best hockey is ahead of us.” — Penguins coach Mike Sullivan “A very good team we played, and we had no fear. I’m proud of our club. That didn’t feel like a 4-1 series. But they win it.” — Jackets coach John Tortorella GAME 5 The Pittsburgh Penguins are off to Round 2 with a 5-2 win over the Blue Jackets, doing quick work in the first round for the second consecutive year. Games 3 and 4 had a ton of ebbs and flows and Game 5 also lived up to that reputation. Pittsburgh after building a 3-0 lead, saw the game turned into just a 3-2 lead but when an official waved off a Blue Jackets game tying goal and called Alex Wenneberg for interfering goaltender Marc Andre Fleury,Read More »